Another day, another sports club has entered esports. Swiss first division soccer club FC Lausanne-Sport (LS) swallowed up multi-gaming organization Qualitas Helvetica, and rebranded it to LS eSports.
LS’s merger with Qualitas Helvetica marks the strongest engagement from a Swiss sports club yet. It goes beyond its Swiss competitors, FC Luzern and St. Gallen—both clubs signed FIFA players last year—by fielding teams in more relevant esports titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, HearthStone, and Rocket League.
The club, based in the French-speaking part of Western Switzerland, Romandy, wants even more. It will also establish an academy where it will proved training structure for young, French-speaking gamers.
While neither FC LS nor Qualitas Helvetica are well-known internationally—and likely won’t have a huge impact on the global stage anytime soon—it’s a good to keep in mind that these regional projects are crucial for a healthy esports ecosystem. They strengthen the amateur scene and develop talent.
For aspiring players, professional sports clubs with elite training centers can be the stepping stone that make the difference between playing just for fun and a career. Who knows? Maybe one of esports’ future superstars will start his climb right there.